The desire and idea to go to Iceland came about when I saw an awesome picture of the Northern Lights. I decided that I had to see them. After looking into which countries would be good options, I noticed that Iceland has an amazing New Years Eve celebration. I decided I would try to take advantage of them both! I will admit, I didn't know much about the country at the time, but I knew as soon as I went, that it would soon be on the map of extremely popular tourist destinations. Iceland has only about 4-5 hours of sunlight in the winter, making the dark and cold nights optimal for Northern Lights chasing. In the summer, Iceland has 24 hours of daylight. I will definitely be going back to experience that season next! Go there now, it's already becoming more popular than I could have imagined!
NEW YEARS EVE IN REYKJAVIK
What an experience! One of the most fun time's I've had celebrating a New Years. First off, the week leading up to NYE is the only week where you can legally buy Fireworks. All proceeds go to the completely voluntary Iceland Rescue Squad and it covers their budget for the entire year, so you can imagine people are buying a lot of fireworks in preperation for when the clock strikes midnight! To start off the night, you can find a local bon fire where people set flame to what they want to rid themselves in the New Year, whatever it may be! Feel free to add to the pile! Afterwards there may be a little downtime before heading to the town's main square where everyone gathers to set off their fireworks. It's pretty crazy and potentially dangerous as there seems to be absolutely no regulation on what is going on. Regardless, it's a total blast! All the bars start to get crowded after midnight, so bounce around to whatever looks fun to you!
Room With A View
I stayed at the lodging apartments in room 601 for six nights over New Years Eve. This apartment is beautiful. The bed is very big and comfortable with nice sheets. There are very large windows that coever two of the walls entirely, along with a huge balcony. The apartment has a nice kitchen (no over if you are really looking to cook but luckily, we were not) with stainless steel appliances and a granite countertop. There was also a huge kitchen table to seat six people. The view is beautiful- you can see the ocean on one side and the town on the other. My guess is that 601 is one of the nicest apartments here. They also had a private jacuzzi right on our balcony. The hotel staff was for the large majority, very friend and helpful. The cleaning staff on New Years Eve gave provided a free bottle of champagne! One thing to note is that a lot of people complain about the noise level as you are right on the main street. Let me be clear, you are directly on the best street in Reykjavik so if you want a very quiet vacation, you may want to go somewhere else because you, you can hear the late night crowds. But- if you want to be apart of the late night crowds then I can't think of a better place. I absolutely loved our apartment but I will say it was a little bit expensive. Other than that, it was perfect!
Disclosure: Traveled to Iceland from Dec 2012-Jan 2013